3 chief ministers ‘U Turn’ – Yashwant Sinha to Murmu
Droupadi Murmu is now assured of a 70 percent vote. An internal calculation of the BJP is that the maximum advantage is on their side. Opposition parties are fast changing their decision policy. Three Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, and Hemant Soren are in constant touch on mobile phones. These three had ditched Yashwant Sinha, their own choice. Poll managers of Yashwant Sinha had abruptly cancelled visits to his own home state Jharkhand, what does it indicate, BJP asks.
West Bengal is for Murmu
The West Bengal scene is confusing but clear on not to vote for Yashwant Sinha. Keeping the vote bank that Murmu represents the Santhal tribe, which accounts for nearly 80% of Bengal’s tribal population, makes TMC Mamata Banerjee’s tightrope walking even tougher. Mamata got rattled with the Modi choice of Murmu. TMC feels that Modi focussed on Mayawati with the demonetization and Ram Nath Kovind a Koli weaver community, that is spread over in six states in and around Uttar Pradesh, that with caste factor got a strike rate for BJP in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, 2022.
Now Modi’s choice of Murmu is certain to affect 8 districts of West Bengal, that Modi may encase it in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Insiders also say that Narendra Modi’s four nominations to Rajya Sabha from South India are also based on voters in mind. Illaiyaraja is dominating the music world. In the garb of culture, the BJP strike is for its vote bank.
Maharashtra Shiv Sena to vote for Murmu?
The Eknath Shinde enveloping the Shiv Sena is also aimed at the Rashtrapathi Election. The split syndrome in Maharashtra Shiv Sena came too handy for Narendra Modi.
The Eknath Shinde camp will vote for Droupadi Murmu. Not only MLAs of Shiv Sena, but the Members of Parliament of Shiv Sena too will vote for BJP nominee Murmu.
12 of the 18 Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MPs want to vote for the BJP’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who is battling to take control of his party, especially after the split in the party’s legislative unit, has now another battle at hand as he has to prevent his Lok Sabha MPs from joining the Eknath Shinde group. Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla informing him that the party has removed Madam Bhavana Gawali as its Chief Whip and has replaced her with Rajan Vichare, its MP from Thane. Gawali is a five-term MP from Yavatmal-Washim.
Gawali’s removal also comes after she wrote a letter to Uddhav Thackeray during the Eknath Shinde rebellion that the party should not take any harsh action against the Shinde group and that their “demands should be considered in the interest of Hindutva”. Gawali has been facing an Enforcement Directorate probe based on an allegation that she has laundered crores of rupees through an NGO controlled by her.
Mumbai South Central MP Rahul Shewale on Tuesday wrote a letter to Uddhav Thackeray asking him to get the party to support Murmu as she belongs to the Adivasi community. Shewale making his letter public has unnerved the Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction especially as a large number of its Lok Sabha MPs have been uneasy over the party joining the Maha Vikas Aghadi in 2019. The MPs were unsure of being elected again if the Sena did not partner with the BJP.
Gulabrao Patil, one of the Shiv Sena MLAs belonging to the Eknath Shinde camp, said that the party has 12 Lok Sabha MPs who want to cross over to their camp.
Arvind Kejriwal is confused?
Arvind Kejriwal AAP leader will take a decision on Sunday about its choice. His party did not sign the nomination for Yashwant Sinha.
Andhra Pradesh is solidly with Murmu, TDP is for Murmu
Out of the total 25 Lok Sabha MPs from the State, the YSRC has 22 and the TDP 3. In the Rajya Sabha, the strength of YSRC is nine while the TDP has one. In the AP Legislative Assembly, the YSRC strength is 150 out of the total 175 MLAs, while the TDP has 23 and Jana Sena one.
Interestingly, less than a week after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee set the Opposition camp a flutter with her statement that NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu could have been the joint consensus candidate if the government had made a serious effort to reach out to the anti-BJP bloc, it has been decided that the joint opposition presidential nominee Yashwant Sinha will not campaign for votes in West Bengal and in his home state Jharkhand, where UPA ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has also taken a U-turn.
Ostensibly, Sinha’s decision to not campaign in Bengal follows Banerjee’s assurance to him that “she will take care of things there”.
Impact of West Bengal on Jharkhand?
Chief Minister Hemant Soren after honouring Droupadi Murmu at Jhansi, took Murmu to meet Shibu Soren the father of Hemant, who is also the leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Interestingly Arjun Munda the BJP leader and Union Minister had spent three hours with JMM leaders. The local Congress Ministers in Soren Govt had threatened to withdraw support if JMM voted for Murmu. Therefore there is a catch-22 situation for Congress,
Ultimately it is vote bank politics that regional parties are concerned?
Trinamool Congress was eager to take credit for organizing the Opposition for the presidential polls, and for proposing Sinha’s name as the joint candidate for the July 18 presidential polls, the move to keep Sinha away from Bengal betrays Banerjee’s growing fears that not backing Murmu could upset the party’s tribal vote banks in the Jungle mahal and North Bengal.
The Opposition camp’s troubles, though, are not limited to West Bengal. Sinha, sources said, will also skip a visit to his home state Jharkhand, where the Shibu Soren-led JMM has delivered a volte-face by backing Murmu’s candidature even while it remains a UPA ally and runs a coalition government with Congress. He will, however, stop over briefly in Bihar, where he is expected to woo dissident groups within the JD(U).
Though the presidential race was a losing battle for the Opposition camp, to begin with, its chances have grown dimmer as polling day approaches, not only because of JMM’s last-minute desertion but also because of the changed equations in Maharashtra and the vertical split within the Shiv Sena. From starting off on a note where the Opposition camp was expecting to put up a tight fight, as D-Day approaches, the distance to the finishing line is growing wider.
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